Monday, August 31, 2015

1830's Striped Dress

From the seller:

This is an antique 1830's silk dress that is badly damaged, but can be used for study, historical reference, or parts. I bought it from an older woman whose great grandfather was a sea captain in Maine, and the family had kept some very old items because of their sentimental value. The fine, lightweight silk striped bodice is gathered and pleated in the front and back, is lined with muslin, and buttons in the back. There is a hook and eye closure in the back of the bodice at the waistband, which is under the bust line and above the natural waist. The back of the dress has no closure, but overlaps to cover the buttons on the lining. The neckline is edged with lace and a gathered, scalloped silk fabric trim. The sleeves are sewn in place with the tiniest of hand stitches, and a self fabric piping. There are 2 rows of gathered fabric ruffles and a layer of fine cotton fabric that is attached under the sleeve, with lovely whitework at the bottom of the sleeve. The skirt is gathered and pleated in the front and the back, and falls nicely into a very full skirt. There is one pocket sewn into the front of the dress on the right side, but it is hidden perfectly under the front pleat. It is probably a size Extra Small, and the measurements are approximately as follows:

Shoulders - 19" across (may have come down slightly over the natural shoulder)
Bust - 18" across
Band under bust - 15 1/2" wide
Length - 53"

CONDITION: This dress is in poor condition, with tears and stains throughout. It is really for someone who wants an antique dress to study the construction, and imagine the woman who made and wore it. There's something that I love about it, since it's the oldest dress I've ever found. It just appeals to my sense of nostalgia, and I can imagine a young woman wearing this, possibly while standing at the window of a widow's walk, longing for her husband to return home from the sea.

From Me:

1836 Fashion Plate

Although the pink dress in the fashion plate is fancier, the style is very similar.


  1. Love those sleeves. Hmm.. that gives me an idea for my next one.
    :) Val

    1. They do add just the right about of interest in this dress. :-D